Taking the Entrepreneurial Plunge

Taking the plunge

Six best practices when starting a small business after working in corporate.

 

Taking the plunge

Starting a small business after 30 years as an employee to be scary and exhilarating! 

I have a 30-year career in events–tradeshows, conferences, etc.–and until recently, I have always worked for others. I have worked for media companies, trade show producers and corporate marketing–all with a focus on events.

About two years ago, I decided to start my own company– with the idea that I could use the skills I have developed over the years and provide a service to those in need of an experienced event professional.

This was the first time I ever left a job without another job or any idea where my next paycheck would be coming from. I have to say that it was scary and exhilarating at the same time.

The Learning Process
I took the steps most people take, creating a website, coming up with a name, and getting the word out to my network.

I have learned a lot about how to be a small business:

Here are six best practices when taking the plunge:

1.   Nothing is more important than your network –so nurture it and grow it.

You never know how many people you know who might need your services. Every conversation can become a lead when you least expect it. I reach out to my network through informational emails periodically and then I make it a point to reach out to individuals by phone.

2.   LinkedIn is an important tool for small business owners.

This is how many people will “check you out” and sometimes it is how they find you. I have started to check out everyone I come across on LinkedIn in order to gain a better understanding of who I am working with.

3.   Be generous with your time but not too generous.

It is very easy to spend a lot of time on activities that are not making you any money. I love what I do but at the end of the day, I am doing this to make a living. So don’t work for free!

Next- Best practices 4 through 6

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About the author

Christina Condos

Christina Condos is president of her event management consultancy, Kentwood Partners. She has spent close to 30 years in the event industry running large trade shows, small conferences and everything in between and has worked on events in many diverse industries including technology, franchise, travel, education and marketing, to name a few. She holds a BBA in Business from Adelphi University and has been honored as a Woman to Watch by Min Online in 2008 and Show Manager of the Year by the Expo Group in 2002.

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